5 of the Largest Concerts Ever Held - Largest.org (2023)

Music is a universal language, and concerts are one of the best ways to bring people together to enjoy it. And when it comes to size, many concert-goers prefer to go big or go home!

These 5 impressive concerts featured a variety of different musicians with diverse styles, but all of them have one thing in common: A massive attendance record! The record-breaking turnouts of these shows attest to their memorable, striking performances and set them apart from other concerts, both in size and in cultural impact.

Let’s see who played at the top 5 largest concerts ever, and learn a little bit about what made these big gigs so memorable.

  1. The Rolling Stones

Year: 2006
Location: Copacabana Beach, Rio de Janeiro
Attendance: 1.5 million
Event: A Bigger Bang

5 of the Largest Concerts Ever Held - Largest.org (1)
Source: wikimedia.org

If there’s anything better than a life-changing rock concert, it’s a chance to see the legendary Rolling Stones for free! Millions of fans were exhilarated by the chance to do just that at “A Bigger Bang” in 2006, with plenty of people traveling many hours to make the gig.

5 of the Largest Concerts Ever Held - Largest.org (2)

One of the fans, Ricardo Soares Cabral, still remembers the concert fondly over a decade later. During a recent interview, he expressed his continued support for The Rolling Stones: “They are still the greatest rock ‘n’ roll band in the world, better by far than U2 or Oasis or Franz Ferdinand or any of the other pretenders.”

The concert wasn’t all fun and games, however: Due to the frequency of crime in Rio de Janeiro, extensive security measures were taken to make sure that musicians, crew, and fans alike were kept safe and able to enjoy the experience.

(Video) Top 5 Largest Concerts

The Rolling Stones’ stage setup in London was a sight to behold:

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Mick Jagger of The Rolling Stones engaging with the crowd:

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The Rolling Stones – Opening – Live On Copacabana Beach:

Did You Know?

  • To make sure that no one was left out as a result of being unable to attend the show in person, the show was broadcasted on TV in Brazil, and through satellite and internet for people around the globe.
  • The record-breaking concert at Rio de Janeiro was held in the middle of the “A Bigger Bang” tour. Other touring locations included London, New Zealand, South America, and Japan.
  • The “A Bigger Bang” concert tour turned out to be the top grossing tour of 2006. The tour brought in a staggering $437 million already by the end of 2005, before the free concert in Rio de Janeiro was played.
  • Mick Jagger promptly won over the crowd in Rio de Janeiro by introducing himself and addressing them largely in Portuguese.
  1. Paul van Dyk, Carl Cox, and Armin Van Buuren

Year: 2008
Location: Dortmund, Germany
Attendance: 1.6 million
Event: Love Parade

5 of the Largest Concerts Ever Held - Largest.org (5)
Source: wikimedia.org

The Love Parade of 2008 in Dortmund featured bands from several other countries, including Australia, South Korea, Ukraine and Turkey. Putting a unique twist on the traditional concert, this event staged each of the music groups on one of the floats in the parade.

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Specifically referred to as an “Electronic Dance Music Festival and technoparade,” this entertaining event first originated in West Berlin in 1989. The main purpose of the event was to celebrate the freedom of love and electronic music.

Many people came together in an expression of love and passion during the early years of the Love Parade:

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Sadly, after plenty of successful years, tragedy struck in 2010 when a crowd crush took 21 lives and injured 500 other concert attendants. In honor of those departed, the Love Parade was discontinued afterwards. Some of the DJ’s present during the grim event reported that organizers told them to continue playing while the tragedy unfolded.

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Westbam @ Love Parade 2008 Dortmund:

Did You Know?

  1. AC/DC, Metallica

Year: 1991
Location: Tushino Airfield, Moscow
Attendance: 1.6 million
Event: Monsters of Rock

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Source: wikimedia.org

The first Western-style concert in Moscow, the Monsters of Rock show of 1991 drew an astoundingly large turnout. Before the late 1980’s, the regulations that restricted the Russian people banned foreign influences like Western rock music. This made for an even more enthusiastic turnout than the usual when legends such as Metallica and AC/DC entered the stage.

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Source: stmuhistorymedia.org

Spirits were high, and the democratic-minded youths of Moscow couldn’t get enough of the heavy, pumping sounds of western metal.

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Monsters of Rock Moscow ’91 – Intro [HD]:

Did You Know?

  1. Rod Stewart Concert

Year: 1994
Location: Copacabana Beach, Rio de Janeiro
Attendance: 3.5 million
Event: New Year’s Eve

5 of the Largest Concerts Ever Held - Largest.org (11)
Source: wikimedia.org

Some people insist that over 4 million people attended this spectacular concert, but many attendants were there primarily for the New Year’s Eve fireworks display and are categorized separately as a result. Regardless of their reason for going, they were treated to a spectacular show as Rod Stewart earned his place in the Guinness Book of World Records.

He gained recognition for not only putting on the “largest live concert,” but also for the “largest free rock concert of all time”. Rod Stewart treated the crowd to a setlist of favorites with an exciting encore.

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Live from Rio 1994 to a 3.5 million audience. Rod Stewart – People Get Ready:

Did You Know?

  1. Jean-Michel Jarre Concert

Year: 1997
Location: State University of Moscow, Russia o
Attendance: Over 3.5 million
Event: 850th Anniversary of Moscow

5 of the Largest Concerts Ever Held - Largest.org (13)
Source: wikimedia.org

Jean-Michel Jarre’s concert of 1997 was the largest concert ever. Immediately following the Oxygene tour, Jean-Michel Jarre was hired by the mayor of Moscow to put on a sensational show in celebration of Moscow’s 850th anniversary. The massive attendance surpassed expectations, with audience members flocking to see the concert set against the impressive backdrop of the State University of Moscow.

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Jean-Michel Jarre made it into the Guinness Book of World Records for drawing the most live spectators at an outdoor event. However, this wasn’t enough for Jarre–he then broke his own record three times! That makes the magnificent Moscow concert Jarre’s fourth record-breaker.

Jean-Michel Jarre playing a laser harp:

5 of the Largest Concerts Ever Held - Largest.org (15)
Oxygen in Moscow (Full Video) – Jean Michel Jarre:

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Did You Know?

  • This wonderful concert was held atop the highest hill in Moscow, enabling everyone in the city to enjoy some of the laser and light shows. Four Russian SU-27 jet planes flew overhead, expelling fireworks to start the memorable concert off with a bang.
  • A laser-controlled synthesizer brought the concert to a new, futuristic level as Jarre’s electronic music swayed the audience in Moscow.
  • To top it all off, Jarre treated the audience to a surprise: a live link to the Russian space station, Mir. The connection with the astronauts on Mir was a life-changing and inspiring sight for many in the audience, and made the concert that much more unforgettable.


What was the largest concert crowd in history? ›

Rod Stewart holds the current world record for the largest concert performance. He performed on Copacabana Beach on New Year's Eve in 1994 for 3.5 million people.

How many people were at the 1991 Metallica Moscow concert? ›

- In 1991, around 1.6 million people gathered for Metallica's "Monsters of Rock" concert in Moscow.

What was the biggest Michael Jackson crowd? ›

The Bad tour was later recognized as the most-highly attended and highest-earning tour of all time, having grossed over $125 million. The 69 concert dates of the Dangerous World Tour attracted more than 4 million fans.

Where is the biggest concert in the world? ›

1. Copacabana New Year's Eve Concert 1994/1995. The beach in Rio de Janeiro's Copacabana district is likely the most famous beach in the world. Various songs and stories were written about the 4 kilometers (2.5 miles) long beach and its promenade.

What concert was bigger than Woodstock? ›

The Summer Jam at Watkins Glen, the Grand Prix racetrack in New York state, took place on July 28, 1973. It was attended by a mind-boggling (and record-breaking) total of 600,000 people, who enjoyed hours and hours of music provided by just three acts, the Allman Brothers Band, the Grateful Dead, and The Band.

When was the first big concert? ›

The first known public concerts for which admission was charged were given in London by the violinist John Banister at his home in Whitefriars in 1672.

Does Metallica make per concert? ›

Those earning the most money and descending were the Eagles ($16.3 million), Queen ($13.2 million), The Beatles ($11.9 million), AC/DC ($10.1 million), Metallica ($9 million), Pink Floyd ($8.8 million), Tool ($6.6 million), and KISS ($6 million).

What is the biggest crowd at a Metallica concert? ›

Some concerts go down in history and the 1991 'Monsters of Rock' festival in Moscow was no exception. Known as one of the biggest concerts to ever take place, with a huge 1.6 million attendees, it marked the most momentous of performances for the heavy metal band Metallica.

Is Metallica the biggest band in the world? ›

Metallica are officially the biggest metal band of the past 40 years, based on ticket sales. Metallica have sold more concert tickets across the past four decades than any other metal band, according to a new report published by live music industry 'bible' Pollstar.

Has anyone outsold Michael Jackson? ›

The Eagles have dethroned GRAMMY-winner Michael Jackson of his best album of all-time title. The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) told the Associated Press that the GRAMMY-winning band's Their Greatest Hits 1971-1975 album is now certified 38x platinum, making it the best-selling album of all time.

What is the highest selling tour in US history? ›

Guns N' Roses' Not in This Lifetime... Tour is the highest-grossing tour by an American act. The Rolling Stones, had claimed the highest-grossing tour multiple times, with the latest being A Bigger Bang Tour (currently the fifth).

What was Bob Marley's biggest concert? ›

On 27 June, Marley performed in front of 120,000 people in the sold-out San Siro stadium in Milan.

Which is the most powerful concert in the world? ›

The Beatles, Shea Stadium, 1965

They opened at the home of the New York Mets and set the record for attendance — with 55,600 ticket holders. To give a full picture of the hype — the band arrived in an armoured truck, and there were 2,000 police officers in charge of security.

What is the biggest concert in America? ›

1 Grateful Dead - 107,019

The concert drew 107,019 fans making it the largest ticketed single concert in American history.

What is the biggest entertainment arena in the world? ›

Officially the world's largest by capacity, Pyongyang, North Korea's Rungrado 1st of May Stadium takes top spot. Opened in 1989, the mayflower shaped arena was built as a national symbol of power and size and accommodates 150,000 people.

Who was the biggest headliner at Woodstock? ›

Jimi Hendrix was Woodstock's headliner. But because of delays, he didn't end up playing until the morning of the final day of the festival, to a crowd that had dwindled down to somewhere around 25,000.

What was Elvis biggest concert? ›

December 31,1975 Elvis makes his biggest concert ever, earning a gross $800.000. With a crowd of over 60000!! Elvis performes at the "Pontiac Silverdome" in Pontiac, Michigan 8:30 p.m. Elvis wore the Rainfall suit with original belt. December 31,1975 Elvis makes his biggest concert ever, earning a gross $800.000.

What was the largest Led Zeppelin concert? ›

But this wasn't all, the band then moved on to Tampa, Florida and played to the largest crowd that had ever gathered to a single concert performance. They broke another Beatles attendance record (55,000 at Shea), drew 57,000 to the event and grossed $309 000.

What was the shortest concert? ›

The White Stripes made history on July 16th in 2007 when they played the shortest live set of all time. Playing just a single note before leaving the stage the group delivered a record-breaking performance, one which is, undoubtedly, the achievement that the seminal group will be most proud of from their iconic career.

Who had the first big band? ›

One of the first popular big bands was the Fletcher Henderson Orchestra, a New York-based band that employed musicians like trumpeter Louis Armstrong as well as saxophonists Benny Carter and Coleman Hawkins.

Who started the first big band? ›

Ellington. One of the originators of big-band jazz, Ellington led his band for more than half a century, composed thousands of scores, and created one of the most distinctive ensemble sounds in all of Western music.

Who is the highest paid musician of all time? ›

Michael Jackson has become the annual highest-earning male solo artist a record 7 times throughout the 1980s and 1990s.

Who is the highest paid singer per concert? ›

Who is the highest paid singer per concert? As the No. 1 live touring revenue generator for 2020, that amounts to $17 million in take-home pay, which puts Dion at the top of the concert earnings ranking and accounted for over 98% of her overall 2020 income.

Who made more money ACDC or Metallica? ›

AC/DC is in the 13th place with $10.1 million after streaming, sales and publishing earned them $4.3 million, $4 million and $1.8 million respectively. METALLICA raked in $9 million in 2020, $3.9 million of which came from streaming, $3.7 million from sales and $1.4 million from publishing, to come in at No.

What is the biggest concert of Taylor Swift? ›

The 1989 World Tour (2015) became Swift's highest grossing and most attended tour at the time, attracting 2,278,647 fans and grossing over $250 million. It became the highest-grossing tour in 2015, as well as one of the highest-grossing tours of the decade.

What was the biggest Pink Floyd concert? ›

In contrast, over 500,000 people witnessed their show at Fête de L'Humanité, Paris on 12 September 1970, their largest crowd ever.

Can a 13 year old go to a Metallica concert? ›

There is no age limit to attend one or both of these shows. Anyone over the age of 24 months (two years) must have their own ticket to enter the venue.

Was ACDC bigger than Metallica? ›

According to Pollstar, Metallica have sold approximately 22.1 million tickets since 1982, bringing in around $1.4 billion. This is in comparison to AC/DC (14 million tickets sold) and Ozzy Osbourne (13.2 million tickets if one combines both Ozzy and Black Sabbath sales).

Who is bigger U2 or Metallica? ›

According to the music industry trade publication Pollstar, METALLICA has sold more than 22 million concert tickets since 1982, grossing more than $1.4 billion in the process. That puts the thrash legends "just behind" U2 in tickets sold, but ahead of rock peers such as AC/DC, GUNS N' ROSES and OZZY OSBOURNE.

Is Metallica bigger than BTS? ›

Those figures placed BTS securely at the top of the list of this year's top-grossing tour groups, surpassing veteran groups like The Rolling Stones, Metallica, Backstreet Boys, and KISS. BTS was also the third highest-grossing tour act overall, coming in second only to Ed Sheeran and P!

What is the #1 album of all time? ›

Michael Jackson's Thriller, estimated to have sold 70 million copies worldwide, is the best-selling album ever. Jackson also currently has the highest number of albums on the list with five, Celine Dion has four, while the Beatles, Pink Floyd, Madonna and Whitney Houston each have three.

Who sold more Michael Jackson or queen? ›

Top artists – CSPC best selling artists of all-time
#ArtistPhysical Singles Sales
1The Beatles116,080,000
2Michael Jackson79,350,000
3Elvis Presley135,210,000
35 more rows

Who sold more albums Michael Jackson or Prince? ›

Prince sold over 150 million records worldwide. However, Michael Jackson's estimated to have sold 1 Billion records world wide.

Which singer has sold the most tickets? ›

RankArtistsTickets sold
1The Rolling Stones28 million
2U228.3 million
3Elton John19.9 million
4Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band
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What celebrity has sold the most records? ›

250 million or more records
ArtistCountryClaimed sales
Michael JacksonUnited States400 million
Elton JohnUnited Kingdom300 million 250 million
QueenUnited Kingdom300 million 250 million
MadonnaUnited States300 million 250 million
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Who has sold the most concert tickets in the last 40 years? ›

The Acts That Have Sold the Most Tickets Over the Past 40 Years
  • U2, which has sold more than 26 MILLION TICKETS.
  • Dave Matthews Band.
  • The Rolling Stones.
  • Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band.
  • Elton John.
  • Metallica.
  • Bon Jovi.
  • Billy Joel.
Aug 3, 2022

Did Bob Marley play at Woodstock? ›

He kept a very low, low profile." That's right. Bob Marley was almost at Woodstock in 1969, but not to perform. Rather, the man who would go on to sell 75 million albums was going to be helping a Wilmington jewelry-maker sell his wares to hordes of hippies.

Who was the biggest reggae star? ›

1) Bob Marley

No list of reggae artists would be complete without Bob Marley in the top spot. Bob Marley rose to fame with his backing band, The Wailers, starting in 1963.

Did Bob Marley get shot before a concert? ›

Seven armed men raided the residence of reggae musician Bob Marley in Kingston, Jamaica on December 3, 1976, two days before he was to stage a concert in an attempt to quell recent violence. Politicians from across the political spectrum hoped to capitalize on Marley's support.

Who plays the loudest concerts? ›

The five loudest performances of all time:
  • Gallows – England – 132.5 dB.
  • Kiss – Canada (2009) – 136 dB.
  • Leftfield – England (1996) – 137 dB.
  • Manowar – Germany (2008) – 139 dB.
  • Sleazy Joe – Sweden (2008) – 143.2 dB.
May 31, 2022

Who is the best live performer of all time? ›

Any list of the greatest live performers in music today rightfully begins with the legends — the Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney, U2, Neil Young, and my vote for the greatest live performer of all time, Bruce Springsteen.

Which concert sold out the fastest? ›

3. 2015 Concert (South Korea) - EXO Planet #2 - The EXO'luxion sold out (67,040 tickets) in 0.4 seconds, which was a record-breaking and at a time was the fastest sold-out concert in the world, though EXO breaks the world record again in 2017 with their new concert tour. 4.

What is the largest concert in history? ›

Rod Stewart holds the current world record for the largest concert performance. He performed on Copacabana Beach on New Year's Eve in 1994 for 3.5 million people.

Who has the longest concert of all time? ›

Bruce Springsteen is well known for his marathon concerts and has continued to beat his record for the longest show many times over the years. In 2012, he played his longest concert to date in Helsinki, Finland: four hours and six minutes.

What is the largest crowd ever? ›

An estimated five million people gathered in Sabarimala, India on 14 January 2007 to watch 'Makarajyothi', a bright flame that flickers three times on a remote hillside of Ponnambalamedu. An estimated 4.2 million people attended a concert given by Rod Stewart in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on 31 December 1994.

What are the 3 largest stadiums in the world? ›

The Top-10 Largest Sports Stadiums
1Narendra Modi Stadium132,000
2Rungrado May Day Stadium114,000
3Michigan Stadium107,601
4Beaver Stadium106,572
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How many people attended Woodstock 99? ›

Like the previous festivals, it was held in upstate New York, this time at the former Griffiss Air Force Base roughly 100 miles (160 km) from the original Woodstock site. The attendance was approximately 220,000 over four days. Griffiss Air Force Base (Rome, New York, U.S.)

What was Billie Eilish largest concert? ›

Billie Eilish got fans 'happier than ever' as she performed in front of approximately 30,000 fans at the National Stadium on Sunday, August 21.

How many people attended Woodstock 69? ›

How many people went to Woodstock? Although there is no official count for the number of people who attended the historic music event, it is estimated that nearly 500,000 people were present at Woodstock '69 over the course of the 4-day festival.

What was Led Zeppelin's biggest crowd? ›

At the opening night in Atlanta Braves' Stadium Led Zeppelin pulled in a crowd of 49,000 which destroyed the Beatles previous record of 33,000 and grossed $246,180 for the band.

Did Woodstock 99 make any money? ›

How much were tickets worth? Tickets were sold for about $150 plus service charges, per The Washington Post. With more than 400,000 attendees, that is well over $60 million that the festival raked in with ticket sales alone.

Who cleaned up Woodstock 99? ›

Woodstock '99 Waste Management was in charge of overall planning, on-site management and some cleaning/ collection.

Was anyone charged for Woodstock 99? ›

Although the figures differ, reportedly 42 to 44 people were arrested during the festival, while ten state troopers and two state police supervisors were also believed to be demoted or suspended for their behaviour at the festival, and one prison guard was charged with sexual assault.

What was Ariana Grande's biggest tour? ›

The Sweetener World Tour

What was Taylor Swift's biggest concert? ›

With her 2018 Reputation Stadium Tour, she topped her own grossing and attendance counts set during the 1989 World Tour, including a record $14 million take from 107,550 sold tickets at Levi's Stadium.

What was the largest Pink Floyd concert? ›

The largest single rock concert, in terms of participants and organisation, was Roger Waters' production of Pink Floyd's The Wall staged on July 21, 1990 in Potsdamer Platz, straddling East and West Berlin, Germany, when 600 people performed on stage and an estimated 200,000 others made up the production crew.

Who turned down Woodstock 1969? ›

Led Zeppelin's manager, Peter Grant, turned down the Woodstock gig, according to www.ledzeppelin.com. “Our management thought we would be typecast,” said Led Zeppelin lead singer Robert Plant in a 2010 interview on “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.”

Did Woodstock 69 make money? ›

Organizers behind the legendary music festival in upstate New York, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this summer, said they wound up $1.3 million in debt after the historic 1969 event—roughly $9 million in today's dollars. But they eventually broke even years later thanks to album and movie ticket sales.

What was the death toll at Woodstock 99? ›

Three people died at Woodstock '99, according to MTV. Those numbers included 24-year-old David G. Derosia, who died from heat-related illness, 28-year-old Tara K.

Did Led Zeppelin play in Canada? ›

Led Zeppelin's 1968/1969 tour of North America was the first concert tour of the United States and Canada by the English rock band. The tour commenced on 26 December 1968 and concluded on 16 February 1969.

Who sold more records Eagles or Led Zeppelin? ›

Top-selling artists worldwide as of August 2022, based on certified sales (in million units)
CharacteristicUnits sales in millions
Led Zeppelin122.5
Michael Jackson89
Billy Joel85
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Dec 8, 2022

Did Led Zeppelin ever play in Toronto? ›

Maple Leaf Gardens - September 4, 1971 / Toronto | Led Zeppelin Official Website.


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